Baked potatoes make the perfect snack and are versatile! You can take them on picnics, indulge in them on outdoor camping trips, or keep them at home to enjoy as a tasty snack to satisfy carb cravings.
Baked potatoes are pretty healthy which is why you must consider them for nutritional needs or as a wholesome side dish for any occasion.
However, keeping them warm can become a challenge when on a picnic, planning a BBQ, or on a camping trip where you don’t have access to a microwave or stove. Eating cold baked potatoes doesn’t quite cut it especially as they can go hard! There is a nifty solution though!
You can use a cooler to keep baked potatoes warm. Specifically designed to insulate, coolers keep food both cold AND warm. But there are a few things you need to know about keeping baked potatoes warm in a cooler. Keep reading to find out what they are!
How to Keep Baked Potatoes Warm in a Cooler
- Keep the Moisture Off
The first step to keeping baked potatoes warm in a cooler is to keep the insulating container free of moisture. Putting hot potatoes into a damp cooler will cause the combination of heat and moisture to create a “misty” environment inside the container.
Not only does this cool down the cooler but it’ll result in soft and gooey potatoes with a bland taste. Giving the cooler a good wipe with a dry cloth to ensure there’s no moisture inside will avoid your baked potatoes from being a disappointment when eaten!
Leaving the lid off for a few minutes will also help to dry and air out the cooler before placing the baked potatoes into it.
- Use Foil
Cooking baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil not only ensures they stay crispy but they’ll stay warmer for longer when placed into the cooler.
You can also wrap the cooked potatoes in the foil when they come out of the oven before putting them into the cooler to stay warm before serving them. Baked potatoes wrapped in foil paper stay crispy without losing their delicious taste or texture.
When serving them from the cooler, your baked potatoes will be of the ideal temperature too, making them an enjoyable snack.
- Don’t Open the Lid
The secret to keeping your cooler well insulated is to not open the lid once you’ve packed the baked potatoes into it. Opening the lid all the time will allow external air to flow in and the heat to exit the cooler.
This results in the overall temperature dropping inside the cooler which, in turn, makes your baked potatoes lose their warmth. Once the baked potatoes are inside the cooler, refrain from opening the lid until you’re ready to serve the food.
This way, you can ensure the optimal temperature stays steady, keeping your baked potatoes warm for up to six hours, whether you’re at home or out and about.
How Long Are Baked Potatoes Good for in the Cooler?
While storing baked potatoes in a cooler is a great way of keeping them warm, how long do they stay good when kept in this manner? This depends on a number of factors including your personal preference for warm, baked potatoes!
Do you like to eat them when they’re piping hot and just out of the oven? Or, are you happy to munch on them when they’re lukewarm after being in the cooler for a few hours?
It’s important to know that keeping baked potatoes in a cooler for a long period will reduce their temperature although they won’t be cold when you do eat them. Baked potatoes stored in a cooler will stay warm for an extended period of time – anything between 6 to 8 hours.
However, if you don’t mind eating baked potatoes that are only lukewarm, they’re good for up to 20 hours in a cooler. However, it’s important to keep the lid closed during this period to maximize the insulation of the container.
Other Ways to Keep Baked Potatoes Warm
Serving baked potatoes while they’re still warm is vital if you want to enjoy their soft, buttery texture and flavor. While the cooler is an excellent solution for keeping this food warm, there are other ways of doing it.
How to Keep Baked Potatoes Warm at Home
Keeping baked potatoes warm for latecomers to a family dinner or party at your home can be a challenge if you don’t know what to do. But, it’s quite simple if you have the following on hand:
- Bowl filled with hot water: Warm up the bowl before taking the baked potatoes out of the oven. Wrap the cooked potatoes in foil and empty the water out of the bowl. Immediately place the wrapped baked potatoes into the warmed bowl and cover with a clean towel.
- Crockpot : Warm up the crockpot to a low temperature. Wrap the baked potatoes in foil when they come out of the oven and place them into the crockpot to keep them warm before serving.
- Heated bread warmer: Use the same method as the crockpot and leave the baked potatoes in the bread warmer until your last guest arrives.
Make sure the baked potatoes have an internal temperature of between 185⁰F and 210⁰F before wrapping them in foil and using any of the above methods to keep them warm.
How to Keep Baked Potatoes Warm When on the Go
If you’re taking baked potatoes for a road trip or to a gathering, keeping them warm is essential if you want to enjoy them a few hours after being cooked. Using portable solutions will keep your baked potatoes warm while on the go and here are some great ideas:
- Sturdy glass container: Glass containers help to keep cooked food warm. When the potatoes are baked in the oven, take them out with mitts and immediately wrap each one with foil to keep their heat in. Place them in the glass container and wrap it with a towel or blanket to keep the baked potatoes warm. This method will keep your potatoes warm for up to two to three hours.
- Cardboard box: Cardboard boxes make excellent insulators, keeping cooked food warm for a few hours. Wrapping baked potatoes in foil as soon as they come out of the oven and placing them in a thick cardboard box will keep them warm when on the go.
- Portable food warmer: If you travel a lot, investing in a portable food warmer is a good option for keeping baked potatoes warm while on the road. It’s plugged into the car lighter to heat up. However, they’re normally only big enough to hold a few baked potatoes at one time.
The cooler isn’t only good for keeping food cold but it can be used for preserving the heat of baked potatoes too!
Being a great insulator, you can use the cooler for keeping baked potatoes warm for extended periods before serving them as a delicious snack, whether at home or on the go. Use our tips and discover how easy it’s actually is!